BA to suspend London Heathrow – Entebbe (Uganda) from 2 October 2015

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British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has announced it is to suspend its four times weekly flight from London Heathrow to Entebbe in Uganda from 2 October 2015.

The last flight (BA63) will depart from London Heathrow to Entebbe on 2 October 2015. The last flight from Entebbe to London Heathrow (BA62) will depart on 3 October 2015.

This means that London Heathrow will not have a direct link to Entebbe after the route has been suspended.

The airline has cited commercial reasons for the suspension of the route. It is likely that competitive pressure from Middle Eastern carriers are a factor. BA suspended Lusaka in 2013 and Dar es Salaam in 2012.

Currently, affected passengers have the option of a full refund, taking an earlier flight whilst the route is still operational, or taking an alternative BA flight to Nairobi (BA will not meet any onward travel expenses).

BA do say they are looking at re-accommodation options on other airlines. It normally takes at least a couple of weeks for these to be announced and we would advise waiting before taking any action.

Full rebooking options are detailed on BA’s trade website.

For passengers looking at alternative routes, options include KLM (via Amsterdam), Brussels Airlines (via Brussels), Emirates (via Dubai), Qatar Airways (via Doha), Etihad (via Abu Dhabi), Turkish Airlines (via Istabul).

Update 28 July: BA is now offering affected passengers the option of a re-route on either Etihad Airways via Abu Dhabi or Brussels Airlines via Brussels up to 15 July 2016. Passengers should contact either their travel agent or BA directly to change their tickets.

BA to fly the Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner to Dehli from October 2015

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Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Image Credit: British Airways)
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has today confirmed the first route to be operated by the Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner.

The aircraft will operate on selected flights from London Heathrow to Dehli (Indira Gandhi International Airport) from Sunday 25 October 2015.

One noteworthy aspect is that First cabin on this aircraft has just eight seats, compared to the usual 14 seats on most other aircraft.  The exact design of the cabin is yet to be revealed. However, BA claim the First cabin features extra storage space and a single dial to control seat recline, headrest, lumbar adjustment and lighting. It also features a larger TV screen and a new touchscreen handset.  That said, the seat plan for the cabin shows two rows of seats in a 1-2-1 configuration so we do not expect any radical changes.

The Club World business class, World Traveller premium economy and World Traveller economy cabins are expected to be the same as the Boeing 787-8 aircraft that are currently in operation.

The aircraft will have 216 seats in total with 42 Club World business class seats in a 2-3-2 configuration, 39 World Traveller plus premium economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration and 127 World Traveller economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration.

The Club World cabin is split between two parts of the aircraft with just two rows of seats in a demi-cabin behind First class (a further four rows are behind the galley) and we suspect this will prove quite popular.

There are a lot of anecdotal comments about the relatively poor comfort of the Boeing 787-8 cabin on BA so it will be interesting to see if any improvements are to be made.

The flights will operate five times a week on the BA257 from London Heathrow to Delhi on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and the BA256 from Delhi to London Heathrow on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.  This replaces a Boeing 777 on this rotation.  The other daily flight to Dehli (BA143 & BA142) will continue to be operated by a Boeing 747.

Further route announcements for the Boeing 787-900 are expected in due course.  Future routes are expected to include Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Kuala Lumpur.

Changes to BA routes to Bodrum, Dubrovnik, Gothenburg & Nice

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BA Airbus A319 aircraft at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)
BA Airbus A319 aircraft at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)

BA has recently announced a number of schedule changes to some of its short-haul routes from London Heathrow and Gatwick:

London Heathrow – Gothenburg

From 25 October 2015, BA will add a year round third daily flight on this route which will operate at the following times until 27 March 2016:

Flight BA802 Depart London Heathrow 19:15 – Arrive Gothenburg 22:15
Flight BA803 Depart Gothenburg 08:00 – Arrive London Heathrow 09:15

This is what’s known as a “night stop” which means it is timed for an early morning departure from Gothenburg.

London Gatwick – Bodrum

This twice weekly, summer seasonal, route to Bodrum in Turkey will now end on Monday 19 October 2015, instead of Monday 2 November 2015, as was planned.

This means that flights BA2566 and BA2567 are cancelled on 22, 26, 29 October and 2 November. Alternative flights to Dalaman and Istanbul, with no onward connections, are available for affected passengers.

London Gatwick – Dubrovnik

The Monday departure from London Gatwick to Dubrovnik in Croatia will be cancelled from 26 October 2015 (flights BA2678 and BA2679).

BA will continue operate the route on other days. However, the Friday departure will also be cancelled between 8 January 2016 and 5 February 2016.

London Gatwick – Nice

BA will reduce its frequency on this route from 14 to 12 flights a week from 22 November 2015. Flights BA2622 and BA2623 will be cancelled on Wednesdays and Sundays.

It is likely that there will be further schedule and route announcements over the next couple of months in advance of the launch of the Winter timetable on 25 October 2015.

BA introduces catering improvements to World Traveller & Club World

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BA Club World Cabin - 2006 (Image Credit: British Airways)
BA Club World Cabin – 2006 (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has announced it is to introduce a series of improvements to in flight catering in World Traveller economy and Club World business class.

The improvements to World Traveller include an improved main meal tray with a better starter. Cheese and biscuits will also be added on most outbound flights from London Heathrow and London Gatwick (except flights to India, Japan and Korea).
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BA offers 10% discount on flights from Australia to London

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British Airways, BBC First, Sydney - London Offer
British Airways, BBC First, Sydney – London Offer

British Airways is marking 80 years of flying to Australia from London (albeit on routings far more convulted than today!) with a special 10% discount on return flights from Australia to the UK and Europe.

The discount is offered in conjunction with BBC First, the BBC’s recently launched commercial TV channel in Australia.

Note this only applies to flights from Australia and not flights originating in the UK or Europe.
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BA upgrades Heathrow – Austin to Boeing 777

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British Airways First Class Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways First Class Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has today announced it is to upgrade its recently launched London Heathrow – Austin route from a three class Boeing 787 to a four class Boeing 777 from Sunday 25 October 2015.

The announcement has been confirmed in a press release from the city of Austin.

This will increase capacity from 214 to 224 seats on each flight. This may seem a modest increase, but the difference is 14 first class seats, 13 additional business class seats, from 35 to 48, and 15 additional premium economy seats, from 25 to 40. The number of economy seats will actually fall from 154 to 122.

This continues the trend of very successful new transatlantic route launches by BA in recent years. At a recent investor update, International Airlines Group CEO Willie Walsh said he considered that there are three-five additional US cities BA could serve profitably, so we should expect to hear more new route announcements in the coming years.

BA set to maintain “yin-yang” Club World on Boeing 787-10 & Airbus A350 aircraft

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 47

Club World on Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Club World on Boeing 787 Dreamliner (Image Credit: Nick Morrish/British Airways)

Some time ago we wrote about a patent application by British Airways in respect of a new business class seat which would afford all business class passengers direct aisle access.

With American Airlines, Air France, Cathay Pacific, Finnair and others introducing new business class seats which provide all passengers with direct aisle access, British Airways has maintained its typically eight across “yin-yang” business class cabin on all recent deliveries of new aircraft.

The reason for this is the efficiency of the cabin layout and that BA flies a number of routes with very high business class demand (such that some 747s are to have business class seating increased from 70 to 86 seats and its A380s have 97 business class seats).

The patent application did prompt speculation that BA would abandon the “ying yang” layout on future deliveries of Boeing 787-10 and Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.

However, IAG CEO Willie Walsh was asked about whether there were any plans to introduce an entirely new seat at a recent investor update and this is what he had to say:
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BA offers the chance to win free flights at London Victoria

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British Airways London Victoria
British Airways London Victoria

British Airways is once again offering the chance to win free flights to destinations from London Gatwick to the Caribbean at London Victoria railway station this week.

25 pairs of tickets are available each day.

The BA stand is located towards platforms 15-19 and is open from 8am to 8pm. As you can see from the above picture flights to Barbados were on offer on Tuesday.  

Flights to St Kitts were on offer yesterday (Wednesday) and flights to Grenada are on offer today (Thursday). The stand is likely to be very busy at peak commuter times, so be prepared for queues.

Full details of BA’s network at London Gatwick are available here.

BA launches London Heathrow – Reykjavik & Salzburg

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 47

Iceland (Image Credit: British Airways)
Iceland (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways is to launch two new routes from London Heathrow to Reykjavik in Iceland, and Salzburg in Austria.

BA will fly to Reykjavik three times a week from Sunday 25 October 2015 and to Salzberg twice weekly from Saturday 5 December 2015.

In the case of Reykjavik this marks a return by the airline to Iceland after a hiatus of over seven years. The Heathrow – Salzburg route will complement an existing BA service from London Gatwick.

Flights will be operated by two class Airbus A320 aircraft and are on sale now on ba.com.
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BA to introduce paid-for economy meal options on long-haul flights

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BA World Traveller Paid For "Gourmet" Meals
BA World Traveller Paid For “Gourmet” Meals (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has announced that passengers travelling on selected flights in its World Traveller long-haul economy cabin from 12 May 2015 will have the option of purchasing an alternative three course meal tray, in lieu of the standard “Chicken Or Beef?” meal offered to all passengers.

The alternative meals will cost from £15 to £18 and will be available for passengers to pre-order in advance. The trays on offer are “Gourmet Dining”, “Taste of Britain”, “Great British Breakfast”, “Healthy Choice” and “Vegetarian Kitchen”.

Passengers will be able to purchase a meal between 30 days and 24 hours before departure. Full details are on the BA website.

BA has also published a PDF list of frequently asked questions.
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